The Imperialism of Madagascar

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Power is something all European countries wanted in the late 1800’s. One of the ways countries showed power was through the amount of land they had. This thirst for land was called imperialism, as strong European countries would take over smaller, weaker countries in order to gain more land, and gain more power. The Berlin Conference held in Germany in 1884-1885, divided Africa so imperialistic European countries could gain control of different regions of this immense continent with no African representative present. The imperialism of Africa entailed the dominance over all aspects of a country, in an economic, political, and social way (Beck, 687-8). With better technology and weaponry, European nations had no problem is swiftly taking over the African colonies (notes). The land was divided amongst European countries, not caring about the many Africans that would be negatively affected by this colonization. The racism European nations felt towards the African colonies allowed Africa to be exploited for both human and natural resources (Brown 219). One of the African colonies that were negatively affected was Madagascar. The English originally controlled Madagascar, but relinquished their control to France at the Berlin Conference and French colonized Madagascar in the late 1800's to early 1900's (Western Indian Ocean). After France gained the new African colony, the French took complete control over all aspects of Malagasy life through political, social, and economic means. France completely rearranged the Malagasy’s system of government and disbanded the groups the Malagasy separated themselves into. The French also forced taxes upon the Malagasy, and restricted trade with other countries. To gain total control France control...

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